Tools to Manage Polypharmacy

Caregivers have a few tools and guidelines to manage polypharmacy, which is taking five or more medications daily. Polypharmacy affects older patients the most because of their age and a significant burden of decreased physical functioning. Adverse drug events (ADEs) lead to an increased risk of falls, increased delirium, more hospital admissions, and in the Read More

Polypharmacy and Deprescribing

The term “deprescribing” first appeared in medical literature in 2003. It describes the practice of backing off a prescribed medication when doses are too high, or stopping medications that are no longer needed. Deprescribing is a strategy to deal with polypharmacy, which is taking five or more medications daily. Polypharmacy is harmful because in older Read More

Polypharmacy and the Challenge of Medicine Administration in the Elderly

Polypharmacy is defined as taking five or more prescription medications daily, and it is most commonly seen in the elderly patient population and long-term care homes (Source). It is problematic because it can lead to adverse drug events (ADEs), decreased physical functioning, and more hospital admissions. Elderly Population and Medications Elderly patients: Receive more than Read More

Are You Ready for USP 800?

The United States Pharmacopeial Convention’s Chapter 800 (USP 800) provides guidance for personnel handling of hazardous drugs; it was published in February of 2016, and will become effective in the next two years. Before USP 800, guidelines for compounding preparations differentiated between sterile and non-sterile preparations (USP 797 and 795), but didn’t distinguish between hazardous Read More

True or False? Facts about Colds and Flu

Many common myths and misconceptions surround the common cold and the flu (influenza). Knowing the facts will help you, your students, and your patients feel better this cold and flu season. The flu shot can give you the flu. False. This is the most common misconception about the influenza vaccine. The flu shot contains inactivated Read More

Vaccination Compliance and Talking to Parents

More and more states and school districts are strengthening their vaccine policies in the wake of several outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases in recent years. Healthcare providers should be mindful of supporting parents, even if they first appear to be reluctant to vaccinate their children. Here are some strategies to keep the conversation open and get Read More

5 Ways Automated Dispensing Machines Improve Patient Safety

One potential mechanism to improve hospital efficiency and patient safety is the automated dispensing cabinet (ADC). An ADC is a decentralized medication distribution system that provides computer controlled storage, dispensing, and tracking of medications. Hospital pharmacists have been exploring strategies for improving patient safety in the hospital setting, and the ADC – also called an Read More

3 Arguments to Make for Using Demo Dose

In 2005, Demo Dose® Simulated Medication was created to provide educators with a tool to teach medication administration and management. It fits in perfectly with the vision at Pocket Nurse®, which is to improve educational experiences and outcomes by providing simulation solutions. Prior to Demo Dose, educators would seek expired medications to use in the Read More

Compounding Techniques for the Simulation Lab

Up until about the 1950s, compounding pharmacies were typical in communities across America. Medications were made locally by compounding techniques – most of which still exist. Today, most medications are mass produced by major pharmaceutical companies, which is quicker, less expensive, and gets medication to more people. However, occasionally a patient has a unique situation Read More